Thursday 14 May 2015

Network management system simplifies industrial network monitoring.

With its new V13 Sinema Server software release, Siemens is simplifying the monitoring of industrial networks. The new software automatically detects all Profinet and Ethernet devices within a network, and enables a clear visualization of them in a web browser. Version 13 is also able to directly read out information from Simatic Controllers (Simatic S7-300 / S7-400) and connected Profinet devices. This affords maintenance personnel an overview of all device conditions and connections at any time, allowing even extensive networks encompassing up to 50,000 nodes to be efficiently monitored. The software is designed to enable the early detection of potential faults as the basis for initiating preventive action and so increasing availability. Sinema Server V13 is designed for manufacturing companies as well as the process industry.

Device data is evaluated either using the "Simple Network Management Protocol" (SNMP) or by using Profinet mechanisms by directly accessing devices. The result: precise and non-proprietary evaluation of data for device identification (Identification and Maintenance/I&M data) as well as diagnostic data. Sinema Server is also designed to deal with the special demands of field automation: the software supports dynamic topologies, for instance "tool changers", as well as detailed configuration of various redundancy protocols used in the field of automation. In addition, logical subnetworks (Virtual Local Area Network) and the Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol (RSTP) are read out, diagnosed and clearly visualized to allow transparent diagnostics in areas where IT networks and automation are connected.

The acquired data relating to the network and the automation application is saved in a long-term archive and can also be subsequently pictured in reports. This enables to determine the root causes of past events to be determined and possible future sources of error prevented. The obtained network diagnosis can be seamlessly integrated into HMI/SCADA systems (such as Simatic WinCC, Simatic PCS7) by using OPC (in particular OPC UA) and web mechanisms.
The overall status of major networks (up to 100 servers with up to 500 nodes) which are monitored by several servers can be centrally displayed using the "Server Overview" function.

This automatically supports users with information ("event" mail) about changes to network components, which allows an early response to possible impending problems or the prompt remedy of already existing faults. That servers can also perform overarching evaluations using external tools, Sinema Server features an interface for exporting data by web access. This function means that data can be centrally collated by using standard programs such as Excel or script-based systems, evaluated and further processed according to customer requirements.

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